Woodsy & Wonderful

Photo courtesy of RRobertsPhoto.com 

Burlwood is kind of gnarly on the outside, but on the inside it is so beautiful! Burls are knotty, bumpy growths that sometimes develop on hard wood trees, such as black oak, maple or California buckeye, when they experience stress from an injury, virus or fungus. These rare growths are coveted by furniture makers, artists and interior designers because inside, they have unusual swirling patterns and distinctive textures. In most cases the wood is sliced into thin veneers to highlight the beautiful markings, but some burls are large enough to cut into slabs for table tops. The wood is extremely dense and resists splitting, which makes it durable, but very difficult to cut! The burls on the tree above make it look like something out of a “Harry Potter” novel!

Photo Courtesy of FieldstoneHillDesign.com 

Burlwood typically has a rustic and organic feel, however this chest is elegant within its sophisticated setting!

Photo Courtesy of ADMagazine.ru 

I love this curvaceous burlwood cocktail table among the more transitional upholstered pieces! Note that it is the only all-wood piece of furniture in the room.

Photo Courtesy of NewYorkTimes.com 

If the perimeter cabinets and the island were all made of burlwood this kitchen would be heavy and too matchy-matchy. But limiting this dramatic wood to just the island makes it the focal point while the rest of the space reads more quietly.

Photo Courtesy of LuxeSource.com 

On a smaller scale, you can have the organic, rustic look of burl with accessories, such as this trio of vessels. They are perfect with more polished pieces for a rough-luxe look. I have a similar bowl sitting atop an acrylic pedestal in my home office.

Photo Courtesy of ArchitecturalDigest.com 

Sigh. It was love at first sight when I saw this incredible lamp! What a handsome piece of burlwood… It feels a bit dark and mysterious to me, and as with all burlwood pieces, there can be only one just like it in the world!

Susan Brunstrum